Holding Politicians Accountable

By: Sunday September 28, 2014 12:47 pm

We have only one way to hold politicians accountable. If we vote for the lesser of two evils, we are not holding either accountable.

 

Bank of America Pleads “We’re Idiots, not Crooks!”

By: Tuesday April 29, 2014 10:45 am

Can you say “regulatory capture”? Sure you can. The acquisition of Merrill Lynch was in 2009, Bank of America only caught this mistake last week, and you’re happy they are handling it swiftly? How about asking how it got through for 5 years? Bank of America has been structuring those inherited notes since 2009, and only now noticed a problem? Earth to Janet Yellen: this is NOT good news.

This disclosure doesn’t raise credibility issues; it confirms credibility problems.

Bill Black, Carmen Segarra, and the Regulatory Failure That Is the Federal Reserve Bank of New York

By: Saturday October 12, 2013 12:40 pm

Back in 2009, law professor and former banking regulator Bill Black excoriated the internal corporate culture of the Federal Reserve when it comes to banking regulatory oversight. For a very specific illustration of what Black was talking about, just take a look at the complaint filed by former banking regulator Carmen Segarra against her former employer, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She was hired and assigned to investigate problems at Goldman Sachs, and when she and her team discovered some major problems, she was pressured to downplay them and back off. When she refused, she was terminated and Goldman Sachs was given a clean bill of health by the folks that fired her.

You’re shocked, I know. But the details, along with the documentation, are the truly shocking part of all this. Not about Goldman Sachs, but about their pals at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

NRC Report on San Onofre: Close Enough for Government Work

By: Friday July 20, 2012 2:12 pm

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission released its report on recent failures at the San Onofre nuclear facility on Thursday, stating that, as far as the government regulator was concerned, the operators of the power plant did nothing wrong when they reported major design changes as simple equipment replacement.

According to the NRC, no laws were broken. Southern California Edison (a division of Edison International, the majority owner of SONGS) did not mislead regulators about the extent of the changes. Federal officials were not lax in their oversight. Things may not have gone exactly as planned, but no one on this side of the Pacific was to blame. Maybe the Japanese at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the folks who built the replacement parts, have some ‘splainin’ to do, but SCE and the NRC performed just like they were supposed to.

And that’s exactly the point, isn’t it?

The Freeh Report: The Cost of an Accountability-Free Climate Comes Home to Roost

By: Thursday July 12, 2012 1:54 pm

Louis Freeh’s long-awaited report is out on the institutional handling of the Jerry Sandusky affair at Penn State, and it is brutal. More than anything, it comes down hard on the climate of Penn State that denied the need for accountability and oversight.

House Postpones Witch Hunt While Nuclear Industry Awaits Results of Latest Power Play

By: Monday June 4, 2012 2:20 pm

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce indefinitely postponed its Thursday hearing on the “politicization of the [NRC] and the actions and influence of Chairman Jaczko.” Gregory Jaczko, of course, announced his resignation on May 21, and President Obama nominated Allison Macfarlane as his replacement three days later. Here’s more behind the deal.

Obama Taps Allison MacFarlane as New Head of Nuclear Regulatory Commission

By: Thursday May 24, 2012 6:24 pm

As predicted, in choosing Macfarlane, Obama tapped someone who is on record as opposed to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. Macfarlane quite literally wrote the book on the subject–she is the editor (along with Rodney Ewing) of Uncertainty Underground: Yucca Mountain and the Nation’s High-Level Nuclear Waste, a review that is predominantly very critical of the choice of the Yucca site. Because confirmation has to move through the Senate, it would need the consent of Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), a longtime opponent of the Yucca project.

Bureaucratic Concealment of Regulatory Capture

By: Sunday April 22, 2012 11:00 am

It’s easy to salute and say Yes Sir. It’s too hard to regulate, investigate and prosecute.

Japan’s Flawed Nuclear Power Regulation: It’s Our Story, Too

By: Tuesday March 22, 2011 2:10 pm

The New York Times today has an interesting article about how Japanese nuclear plant regulators only a month before the quake extended the operating license for the destroyed Unit 1 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Station, despite repeated safety warnings and utility lying. But the US system is subject to the same types of corruption.

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